Created By: Scarborough Civic Society
Scarborough's shipbuilding industry developed in the Sandside area in the seventeenth century, starting at the northern end but then spreading southwards as the number of shipyards increased. Families with names such as Breckon, Porrett, Allatson, Sollitt, Bilborough and Cockerill formed a small and closely knit shipbuilding community.
In 1691 William Tindall set up a shipbuilding yard on Smithy Hill, Sandside. During the next century and a half, several generations of the Tindall family built hundreds of ships on this site. Between 1771 and 1820, for example, 155 ships were launched from the Tindall yards. By the early nineteenth century the family had prospered so greatly that it had bought out and taken over
most of the other shipbuilders’ yards on Sandside. However, shipbuilding and associated trades were in rapid decline by the middle of the nineteenth century. The development of iron shipbuilding and an increase in the size of vessels, with which Scarborough harbour could not cope, led to the abandonment of shipbuilding at the town by the 1860s, except for fishing yawls and cobles. 1885 saw the building of the last deep sea fishing vessel.
By the time it was necessary to clear properties on Sandside so that the approach road linking Foreshore Road and Marine Drive could be built, the area was a jumble of ramshackle sheds and sail lofts strewn along the side of the harbour. Nevertheless, some objected to the clearance, in part because of
the dust and smells created by the work. However, in comparison with the building of Marine Drive itself, the construction of the approach road was relatively straightforward and quick once the properties to be cleared had been bought and demolished. 1904 saw the completion of this part of the scheme.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Scarborough Marine Drive the history